I have quite a love for creating cakes adorned with sugar flowers and dreaming up decadent chocolate desserts, but when it comes to a simple summertime dessert, I find myself gravitating toward fruit, especially peaches. Something about peaches just screams summer to me. I’m talking about the luscious ripe ones so juicy that when you take a bite, juice runs slowly down your chin. So, what better way to pay homage to the beautiful offerings of fresh fruit at the market, than to bake that fruit right into a pie?
Pies can be labor intensive with the precise crimping of edges and the worrying about pie shells. Sometimes I want something a little more rustic and simple, yet beautiful at the same time. That is when I turn to the galette, a free-form pie that requires only a crust with some fruit tucked snugly inside. Many think it is easier to run to the store for a pie crust, but when I tell you how easy it is to make one yourself, you will never use anything but homemade. Homemade crust also freezes really well, so go ahead and make a double or triple batch. (it comes in handy when you have a severe pie craving). This galette, is beautiful in an unassuming, unrefined sort of way, making it a perfect dessert for casual summer entertaining. The flaky, buttery crust, slightly caramelized bubbling fruit, and a giant scoop of ice cream to top it all off? Forget about it, simply divine! Happy baking!
1 1/2 pounds peaches, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 disk pie dough (recipe follows)
All-purpose flour, for rolling out dough
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Sanding sugar (optional), for sprinkling
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then parchment. Combine the fruit, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and cornstarch.
2. Roll out pie dough into a circle (approximately 13 inches) about 1/8 inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to the baking sheet.
3. Arrange fruit in center of dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold over border to enclose fruit, leaving center open. Brush crust with egg, and sprinkle with sanding sugar, if using.
4. Bake until bubbling in center and crust is golden brown, about 1 hour. Let cool on baking sheet 10 minutes, then slide galette on parchment onto a wire rack. Let cool completely. Serve with vanilla ice cream. (personally I like mine warmed slightly so the vanilla ice cream melts a bit when placed on top)
For the pie crusts: Adapted from the cookbook Sticky, Gooey, Messy, Chewy by Jill O’Connor
1.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons sugar
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1 stick cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces and frozen
3 tablespoons shortening, cut into small bits and frozen
3-4 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 large egg yolk, beaten
To make pie crust: mix together flour, sugar, and salt in large mixing bowl. Cut the frozen butter and shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse meal combined with little pea-sized bits. You can also do this in a food processor with a metal blade. Then whisk together 3 tablespoons of ice water, lemon juice and egg yolk. Add to flour mixture and stir together just until combined. Add extra water if needed, dough should be moist but not sticky. Use your hands to gather the dough into a ball, flatten into a round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill dough in refrigerator at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.